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Background Information

Employment History

Paramedic On Television
film studios

Web References (4 Total References)

When Gene Starzenski got out ...

www.everymedic.com [cached]

When Gene Starzenski got out of the Marines in 1970, he went home to Pittsburgh, where he worked as an emergency room orderly, and later an ER technician. He wanted to do more, and the only paramedic program available locally was at Freedom House. He applied, but there were no openings. He moved to California, and in 1975 was certified as the 972nd paramedic in Los Angeles County. Due to his location, Starzenski ended up working for film studios as a paramedic on TV and movie sets. After retiring, he wanted to learn more about the history of his profession, and was shocked that Freedom House was never mentioned. Yet he knew they had been pioneers: he had seen them while working in Pittsburgh emergency rooms.

With the original Freedom House paramedics growing older and starting to die off, Starzenski had to work fast.
In 2009, Starzenski completed a documentary, Freedom House: Street Saviors, to tell the story.
Quick Review
Starzenski showed his documentary at the Colorado State EMS Conference in Keystone, Colo., this weekend, and brought along two of the original Freedom House paramedics to answer questions. They got a warm and enthusiastic response, even though few in the room had ever heard of Freedom House.
Starzenski is a now-retired studio medic, not a professional film director.
"Young people look at athletes with $30 million contracts as their heroes, but athletes and actors are not the real heroes," Starzenski said.
Starzenski won't release it on the Internet, since then it will be pirated and he'll have no chance of getting distribution or recover his investment to make the film.
Gene Starzenski
Gene Starzenski
Gene Starzenski / Producer Director

"Back in those days, you had ...

www.wskg.org [cached]

"Back in those days, you had to hope and pray you had nothing serious," recalls filmmaker and Hollywood paramedic Gene Starzenski, who grew up in Pittsburgh.

Starzenski tells the story in his documentary Freedom House Street Saviors.
"When they came to the house," Starzenski says, "they didn't have any equipment.

GenaStar Productions proudly announcing ...

www.pr.com [cached]

GenaStar Productions proudly announcing the completed documentary "Freedom House Street Saviors" directed by: Gene Starzenski and produced by 3 time Emmy award producer/director Thomas Carter.

Gene Starzenski, the Producer, Director of "Freedom House Street Saviors" is available for interviews, along with a few surviving members of Freedom House.
Gene Starzenski 310-722-2297 genastar@msn.com

National Emergency Medical Services Museum Foundation

www.nemsmf.org [cached]

It tells a remarkable story set in an unlikely time and place, said creator Gene Starzenski, a South Side native who works as a Los Angeles paramedic.

Starzenski, 55, started interviewing Freedom House veterans in 1984 and began making the documentary in fall 2001. He is an ex-Marine military policeman who worked for ambulance services in Pittsburgh in the early '70s.
"No one had even heard of EMTs at the time, and (Freedom House responders) were already doing advanced life support," Starzenski said. "They were the pioneers."
It wasn't by design.
"This program started during the civil rights movement that was going to train African-American men to drive huckster trucks -- fresh fruit and vegetable trucks -- up through the Hill District," Starzenski said.

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